Eating a protein-rich diet is essential in order to lose weight healthily— whether you’re aiming to reduce stomach fat specifically or drop a few pounds in general. We checked in with registered dietitians, nutritionists and other health experts to learn more about two great sources of protein (apart from fruit and vegetables) that you can eat often to support your healthy weight loss journey and provide yourself with ample energy to take on the day.
Read on for tips, suggestions and insight from Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD, registered dietitian at Balance One Supplements, Lisa Richards, registered nutritionist and creator of The Candida Diet, and Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, assistant professor at UCLA Fielding school of public health and author of Recipe for Survival.
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1. Egg Whites
When working towards losing weight, Richards says that eggs are “an excellent source of fats and proteins that can help prevent cravings.” Not only can eggs prevent cravings, she adds, but they are “also loaded with other important nutrients like choline and micronutrients.” In addition, they’re also “incredibly versatile,” and “a great way to add lean protein to your breakfast and the nutrient contents may increase your metabolism.”
Best agrees, and stresses that egg whites, for instance, can be an effective way to “cut down on the fat of a traditional egg-based meal while maintaining a lean source of protein.” Eating just the egg whites, Best explains, “allows you to cut down on calories from 71 to 18, while only losing 2 grams of protein.”The fat content, however, “drops from 5 grams in an entire egg to zero when only eating the egg whites,” making this a go-to daily food for adding more protein to your diet, and for your weight loss goals specifically.
Whether you’re preparing a special trail mix or just snacking on nuts in-between meals, Best says that this is an excellent way to add weight loss-friendly protein into your daily diet. Nuts in general, she adds, are a great snack that “work to do more for your overall health than just curbing a craving,” as they are “nutrient-dense and shown to prevent many risk factors for chronic diseases.”
Hunnes agrees, and says that nuts are always a healthy snack choice if you want to lose weight since they are “not harmful for our metabolism and are anti-inflammatory, high in fiber, and help regulate weight.” She points out that walnuts are a specific kind of nut that you can add to your diet daily, from oatmeal to salads to yogurt, and “provide omega-3 fats from ALA.”
These nuts, she adds, “have been shown (in studies of the mediterranean diet) to help improve cholesterol levels and maintain weight,” while also increasing the possibility of “weight loss, and lowering inflammation,” which is also important for your heart health. The more you know!